AGL Energy has given the green light for its $850 million Coopers Gap Wind Farm, between Kingaroy and Dalby, to proceed.
Construction is expected to begin later this year and be completed by mid-2019, with AGL naming a joint venture consisting of GE and Catcon as the successful tenderer for the engineering procurement contract.
Queensland Treasurer and Acting Energy Minister Curtis Pitt welcomed AGL’s announcement today of financial close for the 453MW project, set to be the largest wind farm in Australia once constructed.
“The Coopers Gap Wind Farm, located at Cooranga North in the Darling Downs, is a huge investment of approximately $850 million that will support up to 200 jobs during construction and up to 20 ongoing operational jobs,” Mr Pitt said.
“AGL’s project is further proof Queensland is experiencing a clean energy boom thanks to the Palaszczuk Labor Government getting the policy settings for the renewable energy sector right.
“Renewables are now undeniably the cheapest form of new generation to build, and this project is also proof that costs continue to fall – with AGL confirming a cost of less than $60 per MW/h.
“Once constructed the wind farm will produce approximately 1,510,000 MWh of renewable energy annually, which can power more than 260,000 Australian homes, with the additional supply helping to put downward pressure on wholesale prices.”
Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise said it had been working closely with councils and members to ensure local content from suppliers could be sought where possible for the project.
TSBE general manager supply chain Reagan Parle said a number of regional firms had significant major project experience and that their credentials would be well-placed geographically to compete for work with lead construction contractors.
“We anticipate that our membership and wider network can meet some aspects of the project and look forward to working towards interest around roads, trenching, fencing, earthworks, trades, transport and other operational requirements,” he said.
“There are significant opportunities ahead for contractors in our region and we look forward to continuing to work with AGL on the Coopers Gap windfarm.”
The Coopers Gap Wind Farm project has been secured by the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARAF), a partnership between AGL and QIC.
AGL managing director and chief executive officer Andy Vesey said more than 800 MW of projects had been vended into PARAF since its inception in July 2016, following the earlier transactions involving the Silverton Wind Farm project and Nyngan and Broken Hill solar plants in New South Wales.
“The strong support we have received from our equity partners and lenders for these projects is testament to the readiness of the private sector to invest in Australia‘s energy transformation,” Mr Vesey said.
Mr Pitt said there were 19 other renewable energy projects financially committed or under construction in Queensland.